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Monday, June 20, 2005
Links of the day

By The Intern
Page 2

nytimes.com -- Universal ponders what went wrong with "Cinderella Man" at the box office, staying mum on one paragraph thrashing from The Intern.

cnn.com (Michael N.) -- Hmm, to watch shameless reality programming or the NBA Finals ... I tell you what, that J. Peterman is a flat-out riot! "Dancing with the Stars" it is!

And so a little part of me dies.

oregonlive.com -- "To me, these visits to these cities are more about getting to know the kid than figuring out whether he can play basketball or not." -- Andrew Vye, agent to Gerald Green.

That just might be ... wait, no, that IS the single most illogical statement I've ever heard an agent give. The guy is coming straight from high school, has never publicly competed against anyone over the age of eighteen, and is about to become an NBA lottery pick, so on what planet is the assessment of his overall basketball talent SECONDARY during a team workout? Who in their right mind would invest millions in an unproven kid based on homemade DVD's of him? Wait, don't answer that. I have no doubt that I'm overreacting, but this simply infuriates me, and you know this one's all on the agent. Just play ball, man, and stop with the over-strategizing.

warcry.com -- Wow. I'm not sure if my brain can handle this. Let's just try a stream-of-consciousness rapid-fire:
-- Fifty bucks says that Curt has "D&D 4 Life" tattooed somewhere on his body
-- "Players feel that they are entitled, I don't. Let me take one sec here to say thanks to all those players on the test server, you people are true hardcore gamers and your efforts are appreciated." What the hell was that? Is Curt running for commissioner of Everquest II?
-- Is Curt going to call my cell phone later and scream at me for being so misinformed?

-- Am I even allowed to make fun of Curt Schilling here? What if this is a hoax? Did I just effectively resign from this job? Even if I did, was this link worth it?

Okay, I'm done.

bookstandard.com -- Oprah, Stewart, Simmons ... the holy trinity of book club organizers. Which begs the question, in a steel-cage death match, who comes out alive?

cnn.com (Jeff S., Houston) -- Finally, everyone should take a moment today to pour a little out for "that guy" actor Lane Smith ("My Cousin Vinny," "The Distinguished Gentlemen," "The Mighty Ducks," etc.) who passed away on Monday.


WEDNESDAY
opinionjournal.com -- You think Dr. J has ever NOT been the coolest guy in the room? I could listen to him discuss the virtues of flossing and remain totally captivated.

ifilm.com -- I think it's safe to say that some of the worst songs ever recorded (highlighted by Alan Jackson's "Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning") deal with 9/11. I forget who, but I remember someone once praising Springsteen's "The Rising" by wisely stating how songs about sensitive subjects such as that should be left to the big boys. In a completely different way (I would never dare equate the two), that's where I stand on the Michael Jackson trial. I'd rather not acknowledge it too much in the first place, but if we're going there, let's bypass all the crappy humor and leave it to the big boys ... like Triumph.

espn.com -- Reader Jake S. summed up my thoughts with, "I was 100% positive it would be Chris Rix before I opened the story" (chrisrix.com). Except that Chris would have scrambled away from the pepper-spray and lobbed up an interception.

jokaroo.com (Jeremy C., Atlanta) -- Can you even imagine the amount of missed high-fives that took place backstage right after this? But hey, it's his fifteen minutes ... carpe diem.

worldbeardchampionships.com (Jeffrey M.) -- During the Magnum era, you think there was a "Jordan as MVP" type of unwritten rule that, although Selleck always had the best 'stache going, the trophy got passed around nonetheless?

freep.com -- Simmons says, "I can't believe Fennis Dembo still has his championship ring. The odds had to be 5-to-1." I say, "Hey, Charles, Fennis Dembo is in here! Zan Tabak is going nuts!" (Sorry, dorky "Inside the NBA" joke. Spelling Bee kid ain't got nothin' on me ... )


TUESDAY
theindychannel.com – If the move had been real, then the city of Indianapolis would have failed. In situations such as this, you have to exhibit complete and total indifference. That way, you end up with the scene where the Colts drive off forever, Peyton sitting in the back of the bus with his face pressed up against the window, on the verge of tears because it looks like no one is going to miss him. Eventually, he stands up and screams, "I CAN'T!," stops the bus, and runs Napoleon Dynamite-style back to Indy, at which point Indy admits how much they actually missed him. This is what I've learned from television and movies.

cnn.com – Paris Hilton is retiring? Genius! In honor of Paris's future withdrawal from the work force, I would like to announce that I am no longer available for the NBA draft. I am retiring from professional basketball.

fortwayne.com (Ben K.) – I don't blame Fonzworth (of umbrella twirling fame) for bristling at the "manservant" characterization. Honestly, I can't think of anything more degrading. For instance, I could have run into a random guy from high school the other day and had this conversation.

Me: "Hey Tom, what are you doing nowadays?"

Tom: "Umm, I squeegee car windows over on 14th St."

(awkward silence)

Me (enthusiastically): "Hey, at least you're not a manservant! Stay well!"

dailyshouthtown.com – I always thought Kendall Gill had one of the smoothest games I've ever seen, but he played just a little TOO pretty. In all seriousness, maybe this is what he needed all along.

sportplanet.com (click on "History") – Before there was Madden, there was Tecmo Bowl, which is why its importance cannot be overstated. Just like before there was Olive Garden's "Neverending Bowl of Pasta," there was Wendy's Value Menu.

(Note: I've never actually had Olive Garden's "Neverending Bowl of Pasta," nor do I imagine it would be very good. Frankly, I was just desperate for an analogy. Today was a struggle.)


MONDAY
For those not familiar with Atlanta, we have a yearly musical orgy known as Music Midtown. It's phenomenal. One of the few places where you will find high-school kids passed-out drunk before the sun goes down, Daisy-Duke-wearing women holding sixteen-ounce Miller Lites, burnt out sixty-year-old hippies pulling out dance moves that no words could ever do justice to, and one of the most eclectic and impressive annual collections of musical talent you will ever find; a place where you can see The White Stripes, Tift Merritt, Public Enemy, and Tom Petty all perform within earshot of one another.

But no one, and I repeat NO ONE, does Music Midtown quite like Kid Rock (except for maybe Morris Day and The Time, who put on the most unexpectedly awesome show I've ever seen a few years back). Don't get me wrong, Kid Rock is in nowhere near the same musical league as the artists mentioned above. But on the flip side, as an outdoor festival entertainer, none of the artists above are in the same league as Kid Rock. Last night was my first live experience of The Kid, and here were some highlights:

– Maybe the greatest intro ever. After his Twisted Brown Trucker Band built up the crowd with anticipation, Kid Rock finally emerged in a fast-paced march to the stage, tossing his drink aside halfway there, violently grabbing the mic, and finally screaming, "MY NAME IS KID!!! ... ," at which point the crowd just lost it. After that entrance, I looked over to the biggest Kid Rock fan I know, my friend Michael, who just proudly nodded to me.

– No one has ever incorporated strippers into their act more seamlessly than this man.

– In almost every song he did, he found a way to shamelessly change a lyric to cater to the crowd. Georgia, Atlanta, and The South were referenced no less than six thousand times.

– He put on the most self-indulgent jam I've ever seen. In one five minute span, he sang, played guitar, the banjo, keyboard, the drums, spun records, landed a triple-axle, swallowed a sword, and wrestled an alligator. Only three of those didn't happen.

– He exhibits just enough talent that you can't completely write him off as a joke. For example, "Cowboy" is a lyrical masterpiece. And yes, I'm running wild with the Walton-esque hyperbole right now. Just go with it.

– Sometimes a performer is only as good as his crowd. This crowd was perfect. He could have started reading poetry and people would have been screaming their heads off with excitement.

So what did I learn from all this? That Kid Rock is the ultimate "great, bad movie" of musicians. He does things that are supposed to be taken seriously, but that instead cause you to laugh hysterically, yet at the end this makes him only more endearing. He's "The Karate Kid", "Above The Rim", and "Commando" all rolled into one. He may not be what I want in my artistic heroes, but he's everything I want in a celebrity.

The Links:

sltrib.com (J.R. W.) – Refusal of your younger brother to continue making eye contact with you? One broken family. Ridicule from an entire middle-school? Two years of therapy. Getting the cold shoulder from even the most desperate girl in your class? Three months of crying. Inability of anyone to ever question your loyalty to the Utah Jazz again? Priceless.

nba.com – As a friend of mine said, "It is your duty to link to this and give Paul Shirley a proper send-off." He's right, plus this contains some solid digs and a shout-out to Simmons.

yahoo.com (Mitch W.) – In further tribute to Gary, here is my all-time favorite line from "Diff'rent Strokes":

Arnold: "If it's true that you are what you eat, that must mean I'm a sixty pound twinkie!"

That was really funny when I was seven.

cbs.sportsline.com – To be fair, this guy can grow one killer goatee.

reuters.com – In homage to crazy Utah Jazz guy, I will extend the Tom Cruise link marathon one more day. This one actually gives an informative rundown of what behind-the-scenes actions have lead to the onslaught of negative press, and contains a pretty good explanation of the different approaches that Scientology Boy and Brad Pitt have taken to recent public image challenges.

floridatoday.com – Words that I never wanted to hear from Andrew Bogut:

"The Hawks are dying to take me at number two. I've spoken to them a couple of times (last) week, and they're loving it. They're rolling around on the floor laughing about the rumors because they're going to get me at number two."

It looks like I better pray to God that I'm wrong about this guy. Also, there's a joke to be made about rolling around on the floor laughing, drug use, and the Hawks draft history, but I'm going to decline for now.